The evening started out on a now familiar note, a Jabber ping about the MBC blockade of the Quafe Company Warehouse and the need to run them off. A Hurricane fleet on Thomas Lear did the trick for a bit.
The enemy came back and put a bunch of carriers on the undock and launched fighters, so we docked back up and switched doctrines to try a different tactic against fighters in our search for a way to kill them more quickly, especially when they are coming at us in a mass.
That did not go as well as planned. We killed fighters, but lost enough ships along the way that I am sure we came out on the short end. I was actually flying logi, so was mostly busy just trying to rep Thomas as they kept head shotting him. A mass of fighters focused on one ship will do that. I did launch my single combat drone and it obliged me by getting on a few kill mails.
We ran around with that for a bit then docked up. A participation link was generated and we stood down from the op.
Probably the most amusing aspect of that was having The Mittani on coms and in game with us. He was manning the guns on a citadel, which I understand is the new fun time activity for GSF directors. Plus, as I understand it, when a citadel gunner targets you, it tells you who has their finger on the trigger, so people know they are being blapped by Mittens himself. Another way to send his regards I suppose.
A while later, as I was sitting at my desk, another ping came up. This one was for a bomber op on Asher Elias. I hadn’t been out in a bomber in ages and I make it a point to go on any Asher fleet I can, so I logged back in and strapped into a Purifier I had in my hangar.
We rolled out of the station and traveled off to meet a black ops battleship in another system that jumped us up to Fade.
Once up there we met up with another black ops battleship that was positioned to drop us on a ratting carrier. However, there were problems getting the cyno up. At the far end the target, wisely, had set up a cyno inhibitor, so our advanced pilot on the scene was unable to bridge us in. There was some discussion as to whether covert cyno generators were blocked by portable cyno inhibitors or not, since they are not affected by system-wide cyno jamming arrays. In a quick search I couldn’t find anything definitive on that, but our experience indicates that portable cyno inhibs do block covert cynos. Live and learn.
Our primary mission having been aborted, we headed off to a secondary objective. We were to baby sit a tower that was being put online by GSOL. The tower just happened to be in Deklein.
There is a strange feeling flying though Deklein now, all those system I grew to know so well and flew through freely in a time now gone. I can’t quite find the words to explain it. I want to say something about dwarves returning to Moria, but that overstates the feeling. Still, there was an “all this used to be ours” sense along with a feeling of emptiness. Not emptiness within ourselves, but in space itself. Systems that used to always have activity were now quiet and empty as we passed through on our way to the tower.
And the feeling of familiarity grew more intense within me as we entered what used to be TNT territory back when I joined the alliance in 2011. We gave it up just about a year ago during the realignment and consolidation period, so as to make our space more defensible. Pity that didn’t work out.
We did pick up a couple of followers from Solyaris Chtonium, the owners of that section of Deklein, and members of the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition, in stealth bombers as well. We managed to pop a couple of them on the gate when we hit our destination system.
From there we headed to the POS tower that was going up, spread out, and cloaked up as the online timer counted down the remaining fifteen minutes. We just had to keep it safe.
And then a Chimera landed on grid with us at the tower and launched fighters. He must have known we were there as he cycled his smart bombs a few times in hopes of getting a lucky hit on one of us. However we were all well off from him. He set his fighters on the tower and then warped off.
It was neat to be able to sit and watch the groups of fighters zoom about the tower in their formations, though there was a question as to whether or not fighters are supposed to carry on shooting targets when the carrier that launched them warps off grid. I know so little about the new fighters and how they operate, beyond that they generate a kill mail if you kill a full squadron of them.
That question became moot when the carrier pilot warped back to the tower. At that point, as we watched him sitting there, it became a question of what we should do about him. We had enough points to hold him down, but could we kill him before help arrived or his fighters shredded us. We decided to give it a try.
He only managed to knock off two bombers before we were able to bring him down. It was a close run thing though, as help arrived on grid just as we were getting him into structure. We overheated our launchers to hurry things along and he obliged us by exploding.
Then it was time to do what stealth bombers do, run away and cloak up.
In the mean time the tower went online and a Pandemic Horde frigate fleet showed up to help Solyaris Chtonium. We bounced around a bit and watched them shoot at the now online and fueled tower, though if they were planning to reinforce it they were going to be there for a long time. They did try to chase us for a bit, which allowed us to get back on grid, kill the fighters hanging in space and destroy the wreck before warping off again.
On one of our bounces Asher found that we were lined up just right for a bombing run, which managed to take out several of the Solyaris Chtonium stealth bombers that were on grid with PH. My own launcher was offline, so I didn’t get in on that bit of fun.
At this point RiotRick, the leader of Solyaris Chtonium, was being salty in local… that is everybody’s new favorite term, right… so Asher put us back on grid with the hostiles and had us uncloak, pop him, and warp off. I am sure that did not improve his mood.
After that it was time to slip away. We headed to a GSF citadel a few jumps off where a Panther black ops battleship sent us back to low sec a few jumps from home in Saranen.
Not an epic, war changing operation, but a fun little fleet where we got a few choice kills and completed our objective. In addition the battle report shows we came out pretty well on the ISK exchange, though it only shows about half of the PH pilots. You don’t get on the report if you don’t get on a kill mail.
So that was our time in Deklein last night. I am looking forward to returning again soon. In the mean time, here is a gallery of screen shots from the evening.